Hotels, lodging, and travel-related businesses are slowly starting to pick up after being hard-hit by the recent pandemic. As people gradually become open to going places again, the hospitality industry must develop new ways to implement effective digital marketing strategies.
As an owner or manager of hotels or any lodging property, perhaps you are curious about the marketing strategy that will produce results in the ever-changing digital landscape. What are things to avoid, and what can you do instead to encourage more travelers to book a room? Below are some of the ideas you can start on.
Top Hotel Marketing Strategies to Avoid
Paying no attention to your target audience
It should be clear that all hotels and lodging establishments will serve a specific niche of people. One of the biggest no-no’s in your hotel marketing is not thinking about your potential guests. Some areas to specify your strategy can include the following:
- Budget point: Are you serving the economic group, luxury group, or a mix of both? It is helpful to consider when creating marketing messages both on your hotel website and social media platforms.
- Traveler types: Are most of your clients traveling solo, couples, or families? Are they traveling for business or pleasure? You can create campaigns to feature business or leisure travelers’ needs and expectations. These are also some solid niche-related promotional points as you plan your strategy.
- Location and vicinity: The hotel’s location is also a great point to target people visiting or staying in the area. By creating campaigns related to known landmarks and upcoming events, you can have a more effective strategy.
Lack of social media marketing strategy
One of the marketing mistakes hotel owners and managers make is the lack of a social media strategy. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram should be utilized to increase engagement and bookings. Some innovative ways that you can implement a seamless customer experience in social media include the following:
- Use of sponsored posts: Many sponsored posts in social media can be optimized for any local business. For example, sponsored posts can be promoted to such users if a user’s GPS shows that they are traveling close to the location or recent search data shows that they are planning a trip to a site.
- Visual carousels: Carousels or multiple photos in one post effectively bring up your social media content in the algorithms. It is essential to showcase your hotel room, facilities, and nearby destinations in your area as a business.
- Seamless calls to action: How can you encourage guests to stay at your hotel? Bookings are likely to increase if the user experience shows that people can easily book just by clicking a post or link from your hotel’s social media. Perhaps a good strategy is showing posts featuring the hotel with a clickable link to a landing page that allows users to choose dates, number of guests, and location.
Neglecting content marketing
Although social media is compelling for promoting the hotel industry, solely focusing on this will leave you with less-than-desirable results. There is also tight competition within the realm of content marketing for hotels and lodging businesses.
One of the top hotel marketing strategies to avoid is having a bare website. You can improve your search engine rankings by doing the following:
- Creating relevant blog posts: It is essential to produce quality blog posts with keywords and content suited for your target audience. Some key positions include travel ideas for those visiting your city, ways to travel smartly in your location, and other topics that will entice readers who are about to book a room.
- Keyword research: When creating content, one must research relevant keywords in the “booking mindset.” These are people who have already decided on traveling to your area but are choosing between hotels. Find valuable keywords such as those looking for the best lodging options, comparing hotels, or other helpful information to get your potential guests onboard.
- Seasonal strategies: Does your area have annual events or landmarks that are well-known tourist attractions? You can also create content for these events and make a call-to-action to book a room in your hotel.
Poor customer service
Customer service is a pillar of the hotel and hospitality industry. As a business always dealing with multiple clients, it is essential to have full customer service that is responsive and helpful.
Even with a beautiful website and an engaging social media platform, your efforts may be nullified with poor customer service. Some ways to improve your customer service for clients are:
- Implementing automation: There are programs available to automate some primary responses to give to your potential guests. For example, some systems can include responding about which rooms are available on specific dates, customer service numbers, and current protocols about operations.
- 24/7 response: Unlike some businesses, hotels and lodging companies should be available to respond regarding client questions. Having staff available to respond to complex issues dramatically improves your customer service quality.
- Different platforms: Having multiple platforms for customer services such as through phone calls, email, or instant messaging can also help in improving the user experience.
No consistency and planning
Are you thinking of another blunder to avoid? Like with most digital marketing strategies, consistency and planning are essential. In all areas, such as content marketing, social media, email marketing, or PPC, staying updated with the current best practices while developing a consistent plan is necessary.
To make things more effective in all areas of your promotion, you must take note of:
- Post scheduling: Creating an editorial calendar for your website content and social media posts will help establish consistency.
- Hiring workforce: Having content strategists and social media managers will also help you implement the tasks related to digital marketing.
- Timing promotions: Take note of peak seasons to travel or visit your location and promote consistently during these times.
Hotel Marketing Strategies to Avoid: Setting a Plan in Place
The ultimate way to have an effective strategy in promoting your hotel or any other lodging business is to have a plan in place. By minding the things to avoid mentioned above, you can create a solid plan to get more potential guests using all your digital marketing avenues.
Are you looking for marketing websites that will increase direct bookings for your hotel or lodging property? E-Marketing Associates can help you develop and implement a digital marketing strategy to increase direct bookings on your vanity website.